Encarnación: The Divine Light During a Cloudy 2019 Mariners Season

Encarnación: The Divine Light During a Cloudy 2019 Mariners Season

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Edwin Encarnación

One of only two Major League Baseball franchises to have never appeared in a World Series, along with the Washington Nationals, the wait continues for fans of the Seattle Mariners. Since joining the American League West Division as an expansion team in 1977, the last time the M’s reached the playoff was in 2001, winning a phenomenal 116 games during that campaign, matching the MLS record for most wins in a single season held by the 1906 Chicago Cubs team.

Houston Astros are the outright favorites for the 2019 World Series at +275 MLB odds on bet365, with the LA Dodgers close behind and fancied at +290 odds. The Astros last triumphed in the World Series back in 2017, beating the Dodgers 4-3 over seven games. Nevertheless, the Dodgers will be hoping to make it a third time lucky in 2019, having lost the 2018 World Series 4-1 against the Boston Red Sox.

Having failed to reach any significant heights since 2001, this gives the Mariners the dubious honor of the longest playoff drought in North American professional sporting history, which extends even further following another disappointing season in 2019. While they’re not likely to finish rock bottom of the American League, given the Kansas City Royals are by far the worst team in MLS this season, the Mariners are bottom of the American League West rankings.

Despite the team performances overall being well below expectations, there have been some individual player highlights through 2019 for Mariners fans to enjoy. The official Seattle Mariners Twitter account is pushing hard for Daniel Vogelbach to feature in the 2019 All-Star Game, with fans playing a greater part in selections than ever before, thanks to the official MLB All-Star Ballot in which votes can be cast for participants.

Vogelbach has certainly been hitting big and has the stats to back up his claim, with 17 home runs achieved making him the highest ranked pre-defined Designated Hitter option amongst the American League candidates. That said, it’s the First Base selection that will arguably attract the most attention amongst Mariners fans, with Edwin Encarnación by far the favorite of any player to feature in the All-Star Game.

Encarnación has been the shining light in 2019 by far in this Mariners team, clocking up .241 AVG / 21 HR / 49 RBI and 888 OPS, making him one of the best ranked players in the American League and top of the charts for home runs throughout the season. For the 36-year-old veteran from the Dominican Republic it’s certainly been a great season individually, but there are some doubts regarding his long-term future with the Mariners.

According to mlbtraderumors.com speculation, Encarnación could be lured elsewhere during the close season, with a host of other franchises potentially interested following his stellar performances during the 2019 season. Of course, his huge $20 million salary could also prompt the Mariners to offload and explore their trading options, which means that for Mariners fans, it could be a case of enjoying what Encarnación has to offer the team, while they still can.

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